AFTER our blessed Lord's Ascension His disciples met together, with Mary His mother and the eleven apostles, in an upper room at Jerusalem. The little company numbered no more than one hundred and twenty souls. They were waiting for the promised coining of the Holy Ghost, and they persevered in prayer. Meanwhile there was a solemn act to be performed on the part of the Church, which could not be postponed. The place of the fallen Judas must be filled up, that the elect number of the apostles might be complete. St. Peter, therefore, as Vicar of Christ, arose to announce the divine decree. That which the Holy Ghost had spoken by the mouth of David concerning Judas, he said, must be fulfilled. Of him it had been written, "His bishopric let another take." A choice, therefore, was to be made of one among those who had been their companions from the beginning, who could bear witness to the Resurrection of Jesus. Two were named of equal merit, Joseph called Barsabas, and Matthias. Then, after praying to God, Who knows the hearts of all men, to show which of these He had chosen, they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, who was forthwith numbered with the apostles. It is recorded of the Saint, thus wonderfully elected to so high a vocation, that he was above all remarkable for his mortification of the flesh. It was thus that he made his election sure.
Reflection. —Our ignorance of many points in St. Matthias's life serves to fix the attention all the more firmly upon these two—the occasion of his call to the apostolate, and the fact of his perseverance. We then naturally turn in thought to our own vocation and our own end.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 138, 17
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Ps. 138, 1, 2. Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known my sitting down, and my rising up. Glory be …
O God, who didst join blessed Matthias to the company of Thine apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his intercession we may ever be aware of the depths of Thy goodness round about us. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Acts 1, 15-26
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
[The ascension of Christ. Matthias is chosen in place of Judas.]
In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty:)
Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.
Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Gradual • Ps. 138, 17, 18
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. I will number them, and they shall be multiplied above the sand.
Gospel • Matt. 11, 25-30
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[John sends his disciples to Christ, who upbraids the Jews for their incredulity, and calls to him such as are sensible of their burdens.]
At that time Jesus answered and said, I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones.
Yea, Father; for so hath it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me by my Father; and no one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to me, all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
Offertory • Ps. 44, 17, 18
Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall remember Thy name, O Lord, in every progeny and generation.
May the prayer of Thy holy apostle Matthias, O Lord, accompany the sacrifices which we present to be sanctified unto Thy name; and by it do Thou cause us to be purified and defended. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 19, 28
You who have followed Me, shall sit on seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Grant, we pray Thee, O almighty God, that at the intercession of blessed Matthias, Thine Apostle, we obtain pardon and peace through the holy things we have received. Through our Lord.